Have I told you I love breastfeeding? Oh, I have? Well, it’s true! It’s right up there with coffee and chocolate and homemade gelato. This is a post about co-sleeping too. See, we co-sleep. It just makes sense for our family. You know, in the sense that I think humans are pack creatures that need to be near other humans in order to fall into a comfortable sleep. (Yeah, Anthropology, man. It was my major!) Also, I just really love snuggling my baby. Seriously, it is THE MOST awesome thing ever. What’s also awesome was when he was a wee one and woke up 10,000 times at night, I didn’t have to do anything – just help him with his latch a bit and fall right back to sleep! And I really, really love sleep. I should have put that in the line above.
Anyway, co-sleeping and breastfeeding. I love them both. And I love night nursing. I really, really do. But it has been 18 months since I have been able to sleep through the night without my boobs being, you know, occupied. And I’m really, really tired. Like, thinking about eating people’s faces off tired. Ok, not really. I’m not smoking bath salts or whatever those people are doing with them. But I am pretty tired.
So I have this little voice inside my head whispering “Hey. You know, what? I bet if you night weaned him he would stop waking up at night. I bet if he didn’t have a boob-snack reward he wouldn’t be tempted to wake up so much”. Maybe? I think so. I have valuable intel that suggests this. AND THIS MAKES ME FEEL SO GUILTY!!! For one thing (most important) thing, it’s selfish. It is so, so selfish. And secondly, what if it makes him completely wean? I am so not ready for that.
About the selfish thing: he obvious needs the snackage at night. He doesn’t eat much table food, and so if I night wean he will probably be forced to eat more. And I don’t want to force that choice on him simply because I am tired and desire more sleep. Because, that’s selfish. And motherhood isn’t about getting enough sleep; it’s about meeting all of your child’s needs no matter how hard it is. It’s one of the reasons I am so against CIO. YOUR KID NEEDS YOU, no matter how tired you are!!
Motherhood is so hard. It’s so all-encompassing and demanding. You are always being touched. If you’re not being touched by your toddler, you are being pawed at by your husband! 😉 And it might go a long way to help me, if my boobs could be mine for the night. Maybe? Plus, the fact that I’ve heard that night weaning will cause him to stop waking up 2-3 times per night.
Can I feed ToddlerH a snack before bed, and in the middle of the night console him with cuddles instead of boobies? I’m not sure. I’m just not sure how I feel about it. Does it make me a selfish piece of shit? I think it might. And that is not the kind of parent I want to be. But, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it teaches him that eating is a daytime activity and we fast at night so that our bodies can renew themselves (something my pregnant self had a hard time with!).
I don’t know. I really, truly, honestly don’t know. And it’s hard. It’s hard because I am his parent and I have to do what’s best for him, sacrificing what’s best for me sometimes. Maybe continuing the way we are is best; maybe he needs nighttime nursing for nourishment and comfort. And this way he will continue making breastmilk the bulk of his diet, the way I believe it should be. Or perhaps I could night wean and it will be beneficial to him: he will still drink mostly breast milk and eat a little bit of table food and sleep through the night, thus getting more rest. Make up for the lost nighttime feeding with an extra-long and cuddling morning session? Is that wishful thinking?? Justification for me wanting to get more sleep?
I don’t know. What I do know, is this is a decision that is probably going to take me a few weeks to figure out, if not months. The waters of principals and values are murky, man. Murky and jellyfish infested (I like sharks). And the boundaries are permeable. But, I am guessing this hard decision is just the beginning. And you know what? That’s okay.